Letter to the Editor

Report signs of dogfighting rings

To the editor:Recently we've heard of the illegal dogfighting ring allegedly run by Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Michael Vick. Some people excuse it and see it as insignificant. Some know better. That's because dogfighting is a felony in 48 states, a misdemeanor in two. The reasons why are countless.

Dogfighting is a cruel and violent activity. The dogs are raised to endure abusive training to become aggressive. Bloody treadmills, anesthesia to dull the pain and mesh bags used to suspend kittens, rabbits, puppies and other small animals are the typical paraphernalia found inside the rings. Sadly, most of these dogs die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion or infection.

Once the ring is busted, the dogs are no longer companion animals, but killers, and must be euthanized. Most abusers of this kind target the powerless by committing crimes against other animals, spouses, children or the elderly. According to the FBI, murderers and rapists often start out killing or torturing animals as children. University studies show that animal abusers are on average five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans. Studies also show that 71 percent of battered women report that their male partners threatened to kill or injure their pets.

Another fact is that dogfighting rings are under our noses in Cape Girardeau today. If you see it, report it. If you hear about it, report it. If you suspect it, report it. For yourself, walkers, joggers, children, families, other animals, and to save the abused fighting dogs themselves -- please report it.